This post may be more for me than you, so I can remember all that we did on this trip, but if you`re reading, I hope you enjoy anyway!
We started the day with free brekky in our hotel, then hit Bear Country first off. It`s a wildlife drive just out of town that is about 45 minutes of driving a winding road in and out of different enclosures, each with its own animal. We saw Rocky Mountain elk, reindeer, Arctic wolves, Big Horn sheep, Rocky Mountain goats, mountain lions, tonnes of black bears, timber wolves, donkeys and buffalo. The drive ended with Babyland, where they had baby versions of all of those and more. The baby bears were so funny, wrestling and climbing trees and eating their lunch. We ate some lunch there and then headed back out for more miles on the road.
We headed down past the funny town of Keystone to Mount Rushmore. It was suitably impressive - I enjoyed the hike around the best, I think. From there we drove out to the Jewel Cave only to find out that they were booked up for the day. Quite disappointing - we won`t head all the way back out there, but will try another closer cave tomorrow.
We kept driving and went into Custer State Park and after an ice cream stop, drove the Needles Highway, which was very scenic and had some fantastic little tunnels through the rock to drive through. We followed that to a wildlife drive and spend a huge chunk of time in a line up backed up because the buffalo were wandering in front of the cars slowing everyone down; plus everyone wanted their turn right beside the herd with their cameras...
From there we headed `home`to Rapid City - there was a brief heavy rain shower, and then a huge double rainbow filled the sky. Amazing. Once we got back, we had another 7:30 dinner; this time at the Outback, an Australian restaurant. M and I split a meal of crab`s legs... sooo good. A stop at Borders, which is a clone of Chapters, and our night was done. Straight to bed for M, and we`re winding down pretty quickly. I`ve got a billion photos from today, and we`re all agreed that it was a pretty wonderful day.